McMillan blends real life experiences with imagination to weave a story of an independent backwoods “country boy” who meets a sophisticated “city girl”. Follow their lives, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, as two families try to mesh. The book is typical of East Texas Piney Woods during the early 1940s through the war years.
Rex Horn meets Mary Ann Anderson on a trying journey with his science and math teacher to Detroit Michigan. Their mission is to pick up a new school bus chassis to replace that of a worn out school bus. Mary Ann and her mother are on the train, and she and Rex meet. The two young people are immediately smitten and intrigued by the other’s lifestyle. Mary Ann visits Rex at his rustic, pioneer type home, nestled in a remote section of an area known as The Big Thicket in the southern part of East Texas. Mary Ann is intrigued by Rex’s parents who, unlike her parents, are uneducated but respected and leaders in the Foggy Bottom Community. Martha Horn, Rex’s mother and Beth Horn, his sister, are both dynamic women who teach Mary Ann life skills necessary to live off the land.
Rex’s encounter with a panther, while trapping in the Neches river bottom, add spice to the story and peak Mary Ann’s interest. Many of the tales related in this story are true, and are written as they happened; others are embellished. The reader will have fun trying to separate facts from fiction.